MRF Rally: Gill starts season with commanding win

Gaurav Gill and co-driver Musa Sherif tackled the stages with aplomb to emerge on top in the first round of the MRF Rally of Coimbatoreon Sunday.

Gaurav Gill (left) and co-driver Musa Sherif of Team Mahindra Adventure celebrate their first round win.   -  Special Arrangement

Two-time APRC champion Gaurav Gill (co-driver Musa Sherif) tackled the stages, which had all the twists and turns, with aplomb to emerge on top in the first round of the MRF Rally of Coimbatore at the Kethanur Windmill farm near Palladam here on Sunday.

A clear favourite, the 35-year-old Gill (Team Mahindra Adventure) stormed into the lead in the very first stage and attacked the rest of the stages in his own aggressive way to complete the 70-odd kilometre in an hour and 36 seconds.

“It was a good win and I enjoyed driving here. It is always nice to start the season with a victory'' he said.

“It was a nice smooth round, with no drama and no fuss. I particularly enjoyed the second stage where our skill and control came into play,” he added.

Defending INRC champion Karna Kadur (Nikhil Pai of Arka Motorsports) from Bengaluru had to rest content for the second place.

Kadur showed immense speed in his Polo but just could not match Gill’s pyrotechnics. However, he stayed ahead of the pack in the INRC 2 category.

Results:

INRC 1. Gaurav Gill & Musa Sherif (Team Mahindra Adventure); 2. Karna Kadur & Nikhil Pai (Arka Motorsports); 3. Amittrajit Ghosh & Ashwin Naik (Team Mahindra Adventure).

INRC 2: 1. Karna Kadur & Nikhil Pai (Red Rooster Performance); 2. Rahul Kanthraj & Vivek Bhatt (Red Rooster Performance); 3. Younus Ilyas & Harish Kumar.

INRC 3: 1. Dean Mascarenhas & Shruptha Padival; 2. Dr Biku Babu & Milen George; 3. K.M. Bopaiah & G. Karumbaisah.